T Nation

Rack Pulls over Deadlifts for Back Development


#1

i want to ask you guys what you think about subbing in rack pulls from under the knees for floor deadlifts to better target my back development and strength.

i get really good hamstring and low back soreness from deadlifts off the floor but nothing in my middle or upper back.....ever. i also have a seperate squat based day and often the ham soreness impacts my squat day a bit as well. thats also a concern.

i am 6'2'' and deadlift sumo style while i squat more medium stance....just what works best for me. rack pulls i take a traditional medium stance.

if back development is the main goal and maximizing my leg day performance is also beng considered is it wise to go with pulls over floor deads?


#2

I think you are talking about several different things here. 1st, DOMS is not indicative, necessarily, of muscle stimulation or growth.

I personally think that deadlifts are great for back, leg, and core development, but your mileage may vary. And from a bodybuilding perspective, being a bit fatigued from DLs prior to squatting is not necessarily a bad thing. From a pure strength training perspective it may be (but notice, you are in the bodybuilding section).

What is your routine? What is your current weight and physique, how much are you lifting, etc? It is really hard to offer advice on what to do or not to do without having a better picture of what you are currently doing and how you are doing it.

–Me


#3

If it’s affecting the intensity of your squat or legs in general and you don’t care about performance then racks. Occasionally due to me not eating enough or sessions being so close floors effect my squat strength, but as long as I’m killing the weight I can do and get a pump I still grow just fine.

Plus you don’t nessarily have to squat.


#4

I can pull 500 from the floor for a single. I have never maxed out on rack pulls so not sure there. I can hit 4 reps of 500 on rack pulls from under the knees however. I squat 400 for a single with belt, no wraps, to parallel.

This is my back shot from this week to let you see where I am at now. Back width and thickness is my major goal mind you. I do however want to keep my squat moving up so keeping that in mind as well.

Split is as follows:

monday low back and hams/calves (rack pulls)
tuesday chest and delts
wednesday upper back and traps
thursday off
friday legs/calves
saturday arms
sunday off


#5

what are you doing for your upper back? I realize that’s not the question that you asked.


#6

For upper back day I hit several grip variations of bodyweight pull ups until I complete 50 total reps. I also do wide lat pull downs and t bar rows in the 8-15 rep range, 4 sets each using a very full ROM due to long arms. One arm dB rows Kickstart my upper back workouts with two 20 rep sets to engage my lats better. I finish up with a double drop set of smith shrugs at 20 reps each going for full ROM and massive pump on those.


#7

There’s nothing wrong with replacing deadlifts with rack pulls, especially if your purpose is bodybuilding and you feel it more where you’re supposed to. You have to do which one works best for your needs. All bodies are different and respond to physical stress in a myriad of differing ways.

Personally, I stopped doing deadlifts about two years ago after building up to a more than respectable weight for 6-8 reps, mostly out of the increased risk of injury and diminishing rewards. Now, instead, I do rack pulls – and that’s rare, for I can go months before including them into my program.

…and I don’t think my back has suffered much from the switch (my avatar pic is from a period when deadlifting was in my toolbox, but trust my back is even better).


#8

[quote]get_ate wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with replacing deadlifts with rack pulls, especially if your purpose is bodybuilding and you feel it more where you’re supposed to. You have to do which one works best for your needs. All bodies are different and respond to physical stress in a myriad of differing ways.

Personally, I stopped doing deadlifts about two years ago after building up to a more than respectable weight for 6-8 reps, mostly out of the increased risk of injury and diminishing rewards. Now, instead, I do rack pulls – and that’s rare, for I can go months before including them into my program.

…and I don’t think my back has suffered much from the switch (my avatar pic is from a period when deadlifting was in my toolbox, but trust my back is even better).[/quote]

dude, you’re a beast! Post more!


#9

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]get_ate wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with replacing deadlifts with rack pulls, especially if your purpose is bodybuilding and you feel it more where you’re supposed to. You have to do which one works best for your needs. All bodies are different and respond to physical stress in a myriad of differing ways.

Personally, I stopped doing deadlifts about two years ago after building up to a more than respectable weight for 6-8 reps, mostly out of the increased risk of injury and diminishing rewards. Now, instead, I do rack pulls – and that’s rare, for I can go months before including them into my program.

…and I don’t think my back has suffered much from the switch (my avatar pic is from a period when deadlifting was in my toolbox, but trust my back is even better).[/quote]

dude, you’re a beast! Post more![/quote]

Yeah, dang


#10

[quote]get_ate wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with replacing deadlifts with rack pulls, especially if your purpose is bodybuilding and you feel it more where you’re supposed to. You have to do which one works best for your needs. All bodies are different and respond to physical stress in a myriad of differing ways.

Personally, I stopped doing deadlifts about two years ago after building up to a more than respectable weight for 6-8 reps, mostly out of the increased risk of injury and diminishing rewards. Now, instead, I do rack pulls – and that’s rare, for I can go months before including them into my program.

…and I don’t think my back has suffered much from the switch (my avatar pic is from a period when deadlifting was in my toolbox, but trust my back is even better).[/quote]

Really solid back, how much were you dead lifting at the time?


#11

[quote]jordanz wrote:

Really solid back, how much were you dead lifting at the time?[/quote]
I’m one of those people that will NEVER give a number about the amount of weight they can lift. As a bodybuilder, as you probably know, it’s not about weight.

To answer your question, I’ll just say that it was impressive enough to turn heads because it was more than most at my gym would ever achieve for multiple reps with considerable ease.


#12

with a picture showing lats like that and thickness as well…ill take heed and listen up. if rack deads worked that well for you ill take it in stride and pull like a mofo. like you said, i feel those working far better then deads from the floor.


#14

It’s something to strongly consider being that many bodybuilders abandoned standard deadlifts and do rack deadlifts instead and get plenty of back involvement from stiff legged deadlifts. I dumped standard deadlifts nearly a year ago and my body and mind feel a lot better from doing so.


#15

Something i do is snatch grip rack pulls at the end of my back workout. My entire back lights up.


#16

rack pulls at knee or above the knee are superior to deadlifts, upper back will blow up.